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Six People Killed in Mass Shooting at Virginia Walmart; Explosions in Jerusalem in Suspected Combined Terror Attack; Biden Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments Amid Court Battles. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 07:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Time in four days, America sees another mass shooting, a gunman opening fire last night inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.


This is what we know at this hour. Police confirm six people were killed, the shooter is also dead.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: It's not clear at this hour whether there was any sort of standoff or whether officers fired shots when they arrived and a motive is still not known.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: But we will hopefully learn a lot more about that motive, about the suspect, about what happened inside Walmart last night, as police are set to hold a briefing in the next hour to take questions on this.

LEMON: CNN's Brian Todd is live for us on the scene in Chesapeake, Virginia, this morning. Brian, what are you learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, I can set the scene for you a little bit here with our first hints of daylight. We'll zoom past me to the entrance of Walmart right there where law enforcement personnel have been coming in and out of that entrance all morning. This attack unfolded a little less than nine hours ago, the first calls came in to police just after 10:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

What we're told by a law enforcement source who spoke to CNN was that an employee or a former employee walked into a break room where people were gathered and opened fire. At some point, that employee or former employee turned the gun on himself.

As you reported, as we've been confirming for the last couple of hours, the city of Chesapeake confirming six people were killed, six victims dead, the gunman is also dead. And we're told that at least five people are treated for injuries at a local hospital. But an update on their conditions was not immediately available.

But, again, here, they were coming through this for hours. It took them hours to process and go through the store, make sure there were no additional victims, that there was no one hiding. So, this crime scene has taken several hours for police to go through and they have just rendered it safe but, again, they are still combing through just for evidence, Don.

LEMON: Okay. So, Brian, that news conference expected to happen in a short time here. Where does the investigation go? I guess we'll learn from that and also a motive at this point, we still don't know, so we'll have to wait for this press conference.

TODD: That's right. We're going to be pressing hard for a possible motive. We need to know who this gunman was, whether there were conflicts, were there any warning signs at this place of business regarding this person.

So, again, these are answers that hopefully the police will be coming up with in the next couple of hours. We're going to be pressing for details on that, nut, again, a very dramatic scene here unfolding in just a few minutes. The police responded quickly and it seemed to have been over fairly quickly. Again, right behind me, you can see some of these vehicles coming in and out of here. This is going to be probably the scene of a heavy law enforcement presence for some days. The FBI and the ATF are also on the scene.

LEMON: All right. Brian Todd, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Kaitlan?

COLLINS: So, we still have big questions obviously about all of this. I want to bring in L. Louise Lucas, she is a Virginia state senator. The shooting occurred in her district, in Chesapeake. And good morning. I know this is not the news obviously that you wanted to be waking up to this morning. You were weighing in on this last night.

I just want to start on what is the latest that you've learned in the hours since this happened about what exactly transpired inside that Walmart?

STATE SEN. L. LOUISE LUCAS (D-VA): Well, you say, I'm waking up this morning, a lot of us did not get much sleep last night, did not rest well and will not rest well until we get a handle on this gun violence. We need gun violence prevention in Virginia.

And I'll tell you, for all the people who were saying that their hearts and prayers go out to these people, I don't want to hear anymore about that until they get serious about gun violence prevention. That's the only thing that's going to stop us from having to stand before the cameras or write these tip lines saying our hearts and prayers go out to the families. We can do something to stop this.

And I am sick and tired of legislators giving mouth service to it after we have these violent mass shootings and then do nothing about when they have an opportunity to go back to the legislature and do something about it.

Right after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach, we all came together with the hope that we were going to present some gun violence prevention measures only to abruptly adjourn without getting anything done with the exception, of course, the following year, I did get Senate Bill Number 70 passed, which is the universal background check bill.

But we need to beef up that bill as well. We need to be more on point with how we deal with these red flag bills. And I'm just telling you, I'm just sick and tired of legislators talking about how their hearts and their thoughts and prayers go out to these families when they're doing nothing to prevent this gun violence in the first place. That's where the metal meets the road.

And so until the legislature is prepared to do something about that, I don't want to hear anymore about thoughts and prayers. I want to see some action, gun violence prevention. There's too much access to these weapons of mass destruction. There's too much access to gun, period. As a matter of fact, as you know, even our lieutenant governor campaigned with a long gun. What kind of message does that send to the people of the commonwealth?

And even our governor, when he was campaigning for office, said he wasn't going to do anything about guns in Virginia.


How are we going to ever prevent these mass shootings if we don't do something to prevent this mass destruction of lives?

COLLINS: And, Senator, those are big question and the frustration that you have is palpable. And I'm sure it's shared by so many who are, A, still reeling from what happened in Colorado, also the shooting that happened in Virginia just last week, so, big questions about that.

I do want to start though on the investigation itself, because we still have big questions this morning. And I know you've been in contact with authorities. So, what have they told you about this? Was this person an employee at the store or a former employee? Have you confirmed that?

LUCAS: Well, the -- all we know is that this person was a supervisor but the information that we're receiving right now is sketchy. I can understand that because I understand that they have to have space to conduct a full investigation before they put out information so that there're no errors in what they present to the public. I understand that.

But right now, we have a community on pins and needles. We're on edge because we don't know where the next mass shooting is going to occur. And for people who don't think it's going to happen in their community, in their school, in their Walmart, in their church, all they have got to do is wait because they're going to be in line. Until we do something to prevent destruction of lives through gun violence, I just don't know what else I can say. It is terrible and stop giving it lip service. We need to do something and we need to do it now.

I for -- in one for in particular, we'll be presenting more gun violence prevention measures in the 2023 session on the general assembly, and I want people to stand by and watch to see all of those people who will be rebuffing that legislation, who will not vote for it. That's where the metal meets the road. When you're in a position to make a difference, you need to act and do something about it.

And, yes, I'm very frustrated. I'm frustrated because I'm tired of seeing people get gunned down when senselessly when we're in a position to do something about it and just sit on our hands and do nothing.

COLLINS: Well, I mean, your frustration, I understand this is your district. I understand it hits home for you, obviously. And I know you -- you know the store well. A lot of people were saying, this is a store that everyone would go to. One person said her parents went there every weekend. Do you have a sense, right before the Thanksgiving holiday, how crowded was it? What have you heard that?

LUCAS: Look, and I didn't want to talk about my visit to a -- down on Battlefield Boulevard yesterday. I was down there for several reasons. I went to Herbal Pharmacy to get pills, I went down to the car dealership to look at vehicles, I was right there on Battlefield Boulevard within three miles of this Walmart. Who knows where the next mass shooting is going to occur. We have got to do something.

And, yes, I'm frustrated, but I'm frustrated to the point of tears, as you can see right now, because we're in a position to do something and this legislature just does not have the will to do it. And I'm telling you, we all know who the people are. And I'm just saying it's time for people to start electing people who have their best interests at heart, who care about whether or not they live or die.

HARLOW: Can we talk about what more you think this legislature can do? Because, you're right, it took so long after the Virginia Tech shooting, 2007, 33 people murdered, it took until 2020 for Governor Northam to sign that legislation, that includes red flag laws and includes some other limits on guns. It does not -- this assault weapons ban died in the state legislature. What do you actually think can be done in the next session?

LUCAS: Well, I'll tell you what. The only thing I can tell you is that it takes the people who are in control of the legislature to do something to make that difference. We can't do it without a majority of people in the House and the Senate, being in agreement that it's time to stop the gun violence. That's where the rubber meets the road. It all depends on who is in the legislature, who is introducing the bills and who is taking the votes.

Look at the roads. All you have to do is go back and look at past legislation that we've introduced and you will see exactly who has been voting against these bills. I do want to start pointing fingers because I think you all know who those folks are.

LEMON: No, we don't know. We don't know who they are. We don't know who they are.

LUCAS: -- and seeing just how many people will not be in support of gun control -- LEMON: State senator --


LEMON: Yes, we don't -- look, we're not -- the people who are watching this are not steeped in the politics of where you are. This is a national show, an international show. We don't know who they are. You don't want to point fingers. But what do you mean by that specifically? What are you saying?

LUCAS: What I mean is that when you have people who are running for office, I don't care at the state or the national level, and they are campaigning with long guns and weapons of mass destruction, what does that say to the larger community? What does that say? Because you cannot be pictured with these long guns and with the proliferation of access to guns and think that people won't want to follow what you're saying, because a lot of this stuff is copy cat all across the nation.


You see one person goes into the school and kill a lot of innocent children, go into a Walmart, kill a lot of innocent people, go into a church, kill a lot of innocent people. It is a global issue. It is not local. It is not just Virginia. I'm just relating to it as like Virginia because it's hit me right where I live. But I'm saying on a national level, we need to do something to prevent this gun violence. And it's all across the nation. Because it's like a pandemic, it's hitting everywhere.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

HARLOW: Yes. Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas, thank you. We are so sorry.

LEMON: We appreciate it. We appreciate you're passionate. Thank you. And I'm so happy that you came on here and you talked about this. We're sorry for what happened in your community but we appreciate your passion, your candor, your honesty, and we will have you back. Thank you so much.

LUCAS: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

HARLOW: Can I say one thing? There have been these two big mass shootings at Walmart, remember El Paso and the mass shooting at Walmart, killed 22 people. Companies can make decisions and make changes, Walmart made a ton of them, right? They still sell guns but they stopped selling assault rifles, AR-15, handguns --

LEMON: We don't know if this is about selling guns.

HARLOW: No, I'm not. I'm saying -- I'm talking about availability of guns around the country and companies have a lot of choices to make, and Walmart made a lot of changes.

COLLINS: Well, an important thing that --

HARLOW: After these -- yes.

COLLINS: I mean, it's big questions for Walmart and what they do in the wake of this. Also, it's interesting what she confirmed there, which we had not had confirmed, which is a supervisor.

HARLOW: That's right. It sounded like current, but we'll find out. We'll confirm all that.

LEMON: We're awaiting for a press conference. We'll get much, much more on this story. We got to get to some other news now.

Breaking news happening, it's out of Jerusalem. That's where police say two explosions this morning are suspected of being a combined terror attack. This is what you're looking at now. This video that has been widely shared on social media showing one of the blasts as it happened that ended with a 16-year-old student dead.

Hadas Gold joins us now from the site of one of the explosions in Jerusalem. So, good morning to you. What can you tell us about these bombings, Hadas?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDET: Don, I'm at the site of the first explosion. This is a bus stop along one of the busiest arteries in and out of the city. Police say that the first explosion happened here just after 7:00 A.M. They say a bag was placed here just on the fence behind me. You can see people are gathering here to take a look at the scene. People have been praying here. And the explosion went off just after 7:00 A.M.

The force of that explosion was so wide that when we came here earlier this morning, we could see debris far into the street, almost to the median in the middle of the street. 30 minutes later, another explosion took place just down the hill from here. In total, more than 19 people were injured, and as you noted, a 16-year-old has been killed.

Police say they believe this was a coordinated terrorist attack, the likes of which a bomb like this that Israel has not seen in years. It's bringing back many memories of the Second Intifida, when suicide bombings and bombs on busses, bombs at bus stations became a regular occurrence, but a bomb like this has not happened in some time.

Now, while this has been a record deadly year for both Israelis and Palestinians, this attack this morning, this shows a level of sophistication and of organization that Israeli authorities says they have not seen.

Now, no group has claimed responsibility, no militant group, although the Hamas militant group has praised the operation. And police say they are still looking for the suspects, who could have placed these bombs. The Israeli prime minister, Yair Lapid, has been holding a security assessment and has been including the incoming prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in that security assessment. Don?

LEMON: Hadas, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Poppy? HARLOW: Ukraine's President Zelenskyy, condemning a Russian hospital attack on a hospital maternity ward. This happened in the Southern Zaporizhzhia region. A newborn baby was killed in that rocket attack and Ukraine's military says the child's mother and a doctor were pulled from the rumble of the destroyed hospital.

Matthew Chance joins us live in Odessa. Matthew, good morning to you. Another attack, right, we all remember that first attack months ago on a maternity ward, now another.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Poppy, sorry having a few technical difficulties here. We're in the middle of the southern frontline in Southern Ukraine. And there are power cuts, there are power outages and that's making the signal a little bit patchy, so, my apologies for that.

But, look, on that attack on the maternity clinic in Zaporizhzhia, absolutely tragic and, of course, another example of just how appalling and brutal this conflict has become for ordinary Ukrainian civilians. The latest information we have from Zaporizhzhia is that this maternity clinic was struck by a Russia S300. It's usually a surface-to-air missile but they're using them for ground attack purposes now.


A young baby, just a couple of days old, was killed, along with a couple of other injuries as well. A mother was injured, a doctor as well in the maternity clinic. And it is absolutely appalling that these things are taking place.

Of course, it comes in the context of a much broader campaign by Russia to strike at infrastructure targets across Ukraine. They're targeting for the most part energy infrastructure, as I mentioned. That means that there are power outages and power cutouts across the country making life extraordinarily difficult for ordinary Ukrainians, yet they're now targeting hospitals as well. That would take us to new depths in this conflict, Poppy.

HARLOW: A little baby, a mother without her baby this morning. Matthew Chance we appreciate your reporting from Odessa.

COLLINS: All right. Also this morning, one day after arguably the greatest upset in World Cup history, four more matches are on the schedule. One of them, Morocco versus Croatia, just wrapped up with no goals.

Amanda Davies is live from Qatar for CNN This Morning. Amanda, it was a very unsatisfying 90 minutes for those fans who were watching that Morocco versus Croatia match.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, Kaitlan. As seen over the last 24 hours or so, a number of the coaches from around this competition using Saudi Arabia As motivation, either don't let an Argentina happen to us or we can beat anybody depending on which side of the footballing spectrum you are. It was always going to be difficult, wasn't it, to live up to what we saw yesterday.

But I think it's fair to say that morocco game was easing us into the day gently. They're still looking for their first World Cup win since 1998 after that goalless draw against Croatia.

In terms of that group's other game, we see Canada, who I've seen described as the hipster team of this tournament. They make their debut back for the first time since 1986 against Belgium. Before that, some real footballing heavy weights, Germany and Spain in action.

COLLINS: I'm just rooting for a goal period. There has to be something in those 90 minutes as we're watching this, Amanda. Thank you and we'll check back in with you.

All right, as she was just noting, Saudi Arabia's win against Argentina, it might be one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history but is it the biggest? Harry Enten what's the answer to that question?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: So, what is the answer to that question? We have run the numbers, or someone ran the numbers. It wasn't me. It was, in fact, the largest upset in World Cup history. It had just an 8.7 percent chance of happening. That beats, I'm sure, some of our viewing audience remembers the USA over England in 1950. I don't remember that. But, look, it's number one, it's the biggest upset and that's why we're talking about it this morning.

COLLINS: Okay. But when it comes to recent sports history, is it the biggest?

ENTEN: It is not. So, this one has popped up everywhere. Leicester City -- look at those odds?

COLLINS: I like them.

ENTEN: Look at those odds, 5,000 to 1, man alive do I wish I bet on that one. Leicester City winning the Premier League Championship back in the 2015-2016 season. That is, in fact, the largest one. There is simply nothing else that comes anywhere close. 5000-1 events, basically never happened. To put it in some statistical perspective, you have a far better chance of meeting someone who is born on February 29th, which, of course, only happens once every four years.

COLLINS: Okay. So, this is happening in Qatar, obviously. We've been checking over the minute (ph) to watch this. Everyone is getting up at crazy hours to watch these game. What about upsets in U.S. and major sports in the U.S.? Please don't mention that Auburn Alabama game in the kick six, because I might have to leave.

ENTEN: Don't worry. This is just in modern championship series in professional sports. So, look, 1969, the Miracle Mets over the Orioles, the differential between these two teams in the regular season was huge. The Mets, of course, came out of nowhere. The NBA finals, the Detroit Pistons over the L.A. Lakers, I think another ridiculous comeback. And, of course, the Super Bowl 3 in 1969. A lot of guys and our crew loved this game, the Jets over the Colts. The Jets were, I believe, a 17 or 18-point underdog. That was an absolutely huge upset. People still talk about it to this day.

COLLINS: Yes, that was an amazing game. Okay. But I see these are what the numbers, but when it comes to what we think of is the biggest upset, does it match this or are there other games that really people think of?

ENTEN: So, putting aside championship series, right, the finals, let's look at some other ones. Look, we obviously all remember the Miracle on Ice? Do you believe in miracles? Yes, Al Michaels said back in 1980 when the USA Hockey Team beat the USSR in the '80 Olympics. And this is one is one of my favorites. This probably doesn't necessarily correspondent with a lot of viewers on it because it happened back in 1951, the Giants beat the Dodgers for their '51 pennant, but my father who was alive during this time went into his car frequently just to listen to this. It actually brought up his spirits and it was the type of thing he talked about over and over and over.

COLLINS: He would go back later and listen to it?

ENTEN: Yes. Like in 2010, he would go back into his car and listen to this, the Giants win the Pennant.


The Giants win the Pennant. It's a huge moment. Russ Hodges, it is up there, these are the two best probable calls in scores in sports broadcasting history.

COLLINS: Okay. So, this for your dad is for me when Alabama played Tennessee and Mount Cody blocked the punt and it was awesome and the field went wild. Sometimes I go back and watch that on YouTube.

ENTEN: Yes. If my father knew how to use a computer, he would have gone back, but he listened to the audiotape. He could literally go into the car.

COLLINS: All right. Harry Enten, let's see if there's any more upsets coming up this week. Thank you so much.

ENTEN: Thank you.

LEMON: We're here.

COLLINS: President Biden has been providing --

LEMON: She doesn't know we're on.

COLLINS: We'll be watching to see what happens.

President Biden meanwhile is providing temporary help to millions of Americans. His student loan debt relief plan has been tangled up in the courts. We'll tell you what you need to know if you applied for one of those.

LEMON: And despite a shaky economy, retailers are expecting a rocking holiday season as Black Friday --

HARLOW: Rocking?

LEMON: Rocking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to be a great holiday season all around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is Santa coming?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Santa is here already.





HARLOW: All right. So, this happened overnight. The Biden administration has once again extended its freeze on student loan repayments for millions of Americans, but this is in the middle of the president's loan forgiveness program being tied up in all these legal challenges. The forgiveness plan is worth up to $20,000 in debt relief per borrower under a certain income threshold, and the payment pause was going to expire at the end of the year. Now, they've extended it into 2023 with the promise of federal relief still unresolved.

Listen to what the president posted in this video on Twitter.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We're not going to back down though on our fight to give families breathing room. That's why the Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court of the United States to rule on the case. But it isn't fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student payments while the courts consider the lawsuit. For that reason, the secretary of education is extending the pause on student loan payments while we seek relief from the courts but no later than June 30, 2023.


HARLOW: They're really confident this is legal even after the federal judge said they overstepped constitutionally. And I'm not so sure. They did this all based on a COVID law that basically said that agencies could have this power to pause things in a crisis, and they're arguing this crisis extends to now.

COLLINS: And that's what the Republican states are saying. They're saying, well, you claimed this is because of the pandemic. Now this is the argument. Biden did say yesterday, he said he was, quote, completely confident that his plan is legal. But this is going to be one of the -- it's one of the most controversial issues that the Biden administration has faced on this.

The other thing is now because they are extending the freeze on repaying your student loans for those even that weren't covered by what he was going to forgive, they said it wouldn't be inflationary when added to inflation, because the payments were going to restart in January.

Well, now, they may not start until next fall because it takes six months after the court has resolved the issue before you can actually start -- they can illegally have you start repaying. So, if they don't get it resolved by Jun, it could be not until next September that people are paying this back. It's very complicated but this affects so many people.

HARLOW: It's so important for so many folks.

LEMON: We are just days away from one of the most important shopping days of the year, and that is Black Friday. Post-pandemic shoppers are returning to stores but with customer confidence down and inflation up. Are there any big deals out there? That's a question.

Vanessa Yurkevich live for us in Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for CNN This morning. Good morning to you. What are you seeing on the street out there? Where are all these deals at? Are they online? Are they at the stores? What's up?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, it's a little bit quiet right now but in a couple of hours, we should see this area bustling with holiday shoppers looking to grab deals. The National Retail Federation is projecting a record shopping season despite high inflation, where Americans are paying more on everything, from food, gas, rent and they're carrying higher credit card debts up 15 percent from last year. That's the highest in 20 years, according to the New York Fed.

So, we wanted to know, are shop shoppers going to still be shopping this season? Take a listen and watch.


YURKEVICH (voice over): On this year's holiday shopping menu, more sales but with a healthy side of inflation.

You're cutting off your circulation.


YURKEVICH: Denise Sallette is in the middle of her holiday shopping at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey.

SALLETTE: This is for my mom and then I got stuff for my kids and my niece. And, oh my God --

YURKEVICH: But this year, the wish list is looking a little different. Last month, inflation cooled but was still running hot at 7.7 percent year-over-year. SALLETTE: SO, I've had to cut back on shopping because things are too expensive. I mean, I do have three girls. They do understand that, you know, times are hard right now and it's just me being a single mom.

YURKEVICH: Despite high inflation, the National Retail Federation estimates that nearly 8 million more people will shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and spend up to 8 percent more this year than they did last year.

MATTHEW SHAY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION: We're looking at records in all categories. It is remarkable in the face of the cost and the price pressures that consumers are still finding a way to increase their spending, power the economy, drive economic activity.

YURKEVICH: Last month, retail sales beat expectations, up 1.3 percent in October. But this month, consumer sentiment fell. Still, higher prices haven't stopped some people from shopping.

Has that impacted the way you're going to spend this holiday season?

CYNTHIA PENDELTON, HOLIDAY SHOPPER: For me, not really, because I try not to overspend anyways.


So, even before this is going on, I try not to exceed what I can do.

YURKEVICH: And according to the National.